A daily workout, a new exercise regimen, or strenuous activity is believed to cause muscle stress, tension, and fatigue. After some time, you may have a heavy and aching feeling in the shoulders, arms, back, and legs. Whether you’re an athlete, an active individual, or living a sedentary lifestyle, you are at risk of experiencing muscle soreness.
Muscle soreness is inevitable for everyone. It prohibits you from functioning normally and efficiently. Even simple activities of daily living (ADL) are performed with apprehension and constraint. There may also be a significant decrease in one’s mental and physical productivity.
A productive job performance, a good workout, accomplishing chores, and daily routines are high priorities for everybody. Therefore, it is important to find easy ways to promptly alleviate the pain, restore muscle function, and get back to regular everyday life. To help you, here are the ten easy ways to relieve muscle soreness:
1- Take A Sauna
A portable infrared sauna tent raises the body’s core temperature by emitting heated air in its enclosure. It is known to be highly effective in improving blood circulation, releasing toxins, loosening tight muscles, and reducing pain.
It has become increasingly popular nowadays. Rather than going to sauna parlors, you may use one in the comfort of your home. Its benefits are the same as a professional sauna, and it can fit right in the bedroom, living room, or home gym.
2- Use Cryotherapy
Cryotherapy is the local application of cold to treat intrinsic muscle damage or any trauma. It is widely prescribed in pain relief, acute inflammation following trauma, edema, muscle spasms, and injury prevention.
Forms of Cryotherapy:
- Ice Pack Or Cold Compress–is the most common and easiest cryotherapy technique because it may immediately relieve pain in the affected area. You may use crushed ice, ice cubes, or a wetted ice pack. It is low-cost, convenient, and a very effective choice as a home remedy.
- Cold Shower Or Ice Immersion Bath–is also known as cold water therapy or cold hydrotherapy. It utilizes water around 15°C (59°F). It may instantly reduce pain, inflammation, and increase energy levels.
You may start with warm water in cold showers and gradually decrease the temperature after a few minutes, although some individuals prefer taking a cold shower directly. If you want to submerge your body in an ice bath, you should only limit yourself to 10 to 15 minutes to prevent ice burns.
- Ice Massage–is used to localize and reduce pain in a specific muscle. It may only be convenient for a small affected area. Slow, circular strokes are done for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Evaporating Or Cooling Sprays–are commonly used in sports. They produce rapid cooling that may relieve muscle soreness; however, they may only last up to an hour.
- Cryokinetics–is a combination of exercise and cryotherapy. It has been increasingly popular due to its therapeutic effect of assisting the injured area to return to normal function as soon as possible.
There are certain things that one must consider when using cryotherapy. For one, you should be placed in a comfortable position and at room temperature. Some cryotherapy agents must be wrapped in a cold, wet towel for insulation to prevent frostnip and ice burns. It is then applied to the aching muscle or area for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Additionally, Individuals with severe blood circulation and blood pressure abnormalities are contraindicated.
3- Use A Hot Moist Pack (HMP)
A hot moist pack or hot compress is a form of therapy that works to facilitate blood flow and reduce pain and inflammation. It may decrease the nerve conduction of pain receptors, increase pain threshold, increase blood circulation, remove pain metabolites, and break down the vicious pain cycle. It may also act as a counter-irritant effect for temporary pain relief.
The optimal treatment time is about 20 minutes, and you should place six to eight layers of thick towels over the area to be treated. There may be a local rise in temperature in the painful area of 2ºC to 5ºC. You must feel comfortable warmth and not hot enough to cause burns.
4- Use A Fascial Or Thera Gun
A Fascial or Thera gun utilizes vibration or percussion therapy to stimulate the stressed muscles that may help reduce pain, enhance muscle strength, and performance. It is believed to prevent muscle soreness by hampering sarcoma disruption.
5- Get A Massage
Massage is widely known for its beneficial effects and may prevent or delay muscle soreness. There are massage techniques such as rolling, kneading, and petrissage. The applied mechanical pressure is known to effectively relieve muscle soreness, tightness, decrease muscle tension, and increase blood circulation.
6- Use A Foam Roller
The fascia is a thin sheet that holds the blood vessels, nerves, and muscles. Muscle soreness causes the fascia to be inflamed and tightened. Foam rolling is a form of self-myofascial release (SMR) method. It may help relieve muscle soreness by stimulating the injured muscles and stressed joints, thus, increasing blood circulation, decreasing tightness, increasing range of motion (ROM), and effectively reducing pain.
7- Use Counter–irritants
Counter-irritants are in the form of oil, cream, or any liquid substance made from either menthol, wintergreen, menthol, or eucalyptus. They are applied to the painful areas for temporary pain relief and may last for 30 minutes to a few hours. The pain pathway to the brain is temporarily interrupted, and they give a hot or cold sensation to the skin.
8- Try A Portable Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) Machine
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is a machine that produces stimulation to the nerves and is indicated for various acute and chronic musculoskeletal pain. It uses electrical currents to block pain receptors’ activity and effectively stop the pain signals going through.
You may buy a TENS machine in pharmacies and medical equipment supply stores. It is handy and easy to use. The contraindications in using TENS are abnormal sensation, cardiac pacemakers, abnormal blood pressure, neurotic addiction to stimulation, and being mentally unstable.
9- Take A Rest
Taking a rest gives your muscles and bones time to repair micro-injuries, replenish nutrients, and build new muscle tissues. Toxin accumulation causes muscle pain and soreness. Thus, rest is highly important.
Your job, workout, or daily routine can put pressure on both your mind and body. Rest is essential to heighten the connection between the brain and muscles to alleviate pain and enhance performance.
10- Eat Nutritious Foods
Antioxidants and protein are important to your muscles. A well-balanced diet is highly encouraged to provide proper and sufficient nutrition for your body. Anti-inflammatory foods are also effective in breaking down the cytokine compounds which cause pain and inflammation.
11- When To Seek Medical Attention
Muscle soreness may vary due to an individual’s pain tolerance and degree of muscle damage. However, you need to see a medical professional when the following happens: pain that lasts for more the seven days, a sharp shooting pain that refers to an unaffected area, muscle spasms, presence of lumps, skin discoloration, and edema formation.
An ordinary day at work, an effective workout, or a daily routine can result in muscle soreness. It gives you painful, stressful, and unproductive days. Hence, it is important to find easy ways to promptly relieve pain, increase productivity, and get back to your normal routine. It should be noted that when red flags appear, you should immediately seek medical attention to prevent the worsening of your condition.